Wednesday, 15 December 2010

MSMEs and the Commonwealth

Small companies are the life blood of all Commonwealth economies. In the UK, for example, MSMEs account for 99% of all businesses. As much as 50% of the UK’s workforce is employed by companies employing less than 100 people and on average 65% of all new jobs are created by MSMEs each year.

As the UK looks to export its way out of recession greater emphasis is being placed on helping to internationalise MSMEs, as only the most innovative and competitive MSMEs will succeed in international markets. A strategy that focuses on supporting fast growing and innovative MSMEs internationalise will reap disproportionately large returns for all countries involved. India in particular is seen as an enormous potential market for MSMEs, but so far UK companies have struggled to penetrate the market.

India has continually demonstrated an ability to nurture its own MSMEs into national and international corporations, almost all the major Indian companies have developed from humble origins within living memory. India is therefore an important market for international MSMEs looking to win new business and for those countries looking to learn how they can support and develop their own MSMEs.

Doing business with another Commonwealth country can be up to 20% less expensive than doing business with non-Commonwealth countries as a result of the ‘Commonwealth Factor’. These factors are of disproportionate advantage to MSMEs, so the Commonwealth relationships can play a key role in developing international MSMEs that will help drive growth and job creation across the 54 member countries of the association.

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